Keanu Reeves Nearly Starred In Death Stranding, But Kojima ‘Wanted Mads’

by : Ewan Moore on : 22 Jul 2019 10:54
Keanu Reeves Nearly Starred In Death Stranding, But Kojima 'Wanted Mads'Keanu Reeves Nearly Starred In Death Stranding, But Kojima 'Wanted Mads'CD Projekt RED/Sony

Keanu Reeves has always been a beloved and massively popular star, but since E3 2019 it feels like the guy has been absolutely everywhere.


Maybe it’s because as someone who writes about video games for a living, I never had much cause to cover Keanu, whereas these days I seem to be writing at least one article a week on the John Wick and Cyberpunk 2077 actor.

On that, we come to my contractually obligated Keanu Reeves Article Of The Week. The breathtaking star took to the stage at E3 2o19 to reveal that he’d be taking a leading role in Cyberpunk 2077, but Hideo Kojima recently revealed that the actor was very nearly in the upcoming PS4-exclusive Death Stranding.

Speaking at San Diego Comic-Con, the developer said that during the early stages of Death Stranding, Reeves was recommended a few times for a role alongside Norman Reedus, but Kojima made it clear that he only ever had eyes for Mads Mikkelson, who will be playing the deliciously creepy-looking… Cliff. Yes, I know Cliff isn’t a creepy name, but we have to try and move on from that.


Kojima said during Master Storyteller panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 (via WCCFTech); “I originally was recommended Keanu Reeves but I wanted Mads.” Mikkelson is of course an equally-inspired choice, so there’s little point getting hung up over what might have been.


Back in May, it was confirmed that Death Stranding would release on November 8 this year. Despite releasing a fairly in-depth (and absolutely wild) trailer alongside the release date reveal, I still couldn’t tell you what the hell kind of game Death Stranding actually is is – but that seems to be exactly what Kojima wants.

During the panel, he said he hopes Death Stranding is a game that will stay with people long after the credits roll:

There’s no reason to create something that’s already there. I want to create something that gives more inspiration to the world. Like Hollywood movies where some don’t live with you, people just digest and consume. What I do is make something that’s difficult to chow down when you digest my work.

If you’re desperate to see a digital Keanu Reeves, worry not – he’ll be showing up in Cyberpunk 2077 as Johnny Silverhand on April 16, 2020. CD Projekt RED remain cagey on whether or not we’ll be able to sleep with Silverhand in the game.


I’d also imagine that Reedus and Mikkelson are off-limits in Death Stranding.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn't gotten out of his mid 00's emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.

Topics: Gaming, CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077, Death Stranding, Keanu Reeves, Kojima, Sony